2012年 09月 18日 ( 1 )   

Lost In Translation   

Hi everyone my name is Elgan and this is my first entry for chit chat cafe blog! Recently I am very interested in the term "lost in translation". A bit of warning before moving on this subject quite possibly has no point at all and quite possibly a big waste of time =D

Of course many of us when we heard "lost in translation" would think about Bill Muray's movie that was released some years ago. To be honest I vaguely remember the movie, it was a movie about a middle aged guy who is lost in Tokyo because he can't communicate with the local people. The movie didn't really coined the term "lost in translation" to me, I feel the title should be like "Lost foreigner in Japan" or something along that line.

I finished reading a novel by Murakami Haruki titled 1Q84 recently. Before I read the book, I thought the title was IQ84 (IQ being a intelligence measurement) and I thought "gee IQ84 is on the lower bracket of intelligence so the story must be about someone stupid". As I was reading the book I realised that it wasn't "iq84" but "1q84" referring to another world that the two main characters of the book is experiencing. After I finished the book I was thinking about the story and the title and I was thinking what an odd story and title it was. Why is it 1984/1q84? Why is it not 1983? or 1988? Was there a big event in 1984? I was only a year old in 1984 so I wouldn't have a clue about the world at the time. Suddenly, by some unknown force, I recite "1984" in Japanese silently, sen KYU hyaku hatchi jyu yon........ sen KYU hyaku hatchi jyu....... sen Kyu....... Ah it suddenly hits me! Ichi KYU hatchi yon!!!!!! Ichi Q hatchi yon!! 1984!! O wow I bet the average English reader would not understand that! The title meaning is lost in translation!!

Very recently, I found another example while doing my Japanese homework. It was a reading exercise and it is about Doraemon. Having read the manga and watching the anime in my mother tongue, which is Indonesian, I am quite familiar with the story and character so it is quite an easy homeowork for me. But when I look at the reading again the word "Doraemon" sticks out to me. "Dora" is written in Katakana and "emon" in hiragana.... why is that I wonder... I figured out long ago that the name doraemon probably has something to do with dorayaki since he loves it so much but I never knew it is written that way... Indonesian language use alphabet (or Romaji as Japanese called it) like English language so again something is "lost in translation"!!

It's amazing isn't it the way language works out that way? Don't you find it interesting? It makes me becoming more interested in learning languages and the important of understanding culture as well as the language itself!!! Do you have any experience like this? There must be something "lost in translation" too when we are translating English to Japanese!! Maybe when we meet we can talk about "lost in translation", or about the movie, or the novel 1q84 or even Doraemon =)

PS: My teacher asked in class what would I want the most from Doraemon and I said I want the magic pocket. Then she smiled at me and she said she would like Doraemon himself~ I laugh so hard when she said that ^o^

[PR]

by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-18 19:26 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌